Athletes over paid? You decide!

by Tyler L on December 4, 2012 - 2:21pm

Over-Paid Professional Athletes?


            The word 'professional' means following an occupation as a means of livelihood or for gain: a professional builder (  Yet, some people still argue certain professionals and the compensation such professions should receive, i.e. professional athletes.  Most recently, concerns about professional athletes being overpaid has flared up.  Despite these concerns, it's essential to note that the few people who do have the natural talent and ability to become a professional athlete, making millions a year are slim to none.  Yet, the professional sports industry has certainly left its mark on this world.  The amount of publicity caused by the overwhelming last inning outs or hail marries to ultimately win or lose a contest can cause an explosive hype for fans.  The amount of money in professional sports today is almost unreal but is it truly a one sided coin that they are paid too much?


            According to a Bleacher Report, senior analyst Mihir Bhagat (2012) states that “professional athletes are making too much money in a society where salaries and wages are traditionally based on the value of one's work.  In today's society, one should be paid according to the job’s economic importance and their value to society.”  However, the cold hard fact is that these athletes work harder to stay healthy and to maintain fine-tuned bodies than almost any other occupation.  Sure, they make more money than they know what to do with but the fact is that they deserve a pretty stacked pay-check and this is just where our economy is in today’s era.  These professionals entertain and as seen, entertainment carries our economy.  It might be safe to say that these athletes are not over paid.


            There are always two sides to a coin but one particular research indicates such athletes are not over paid.  Martha and Michael Zimmer (2001) use unorthodox ways to show professional athlete's salaries.  This article explains ways and methods of theoretically proving athletes are not over paid.  The authors express their thoughts of athletes as entertainers, using the aspect of athletes as entertainers to have some way of classifying them in a group.  Findings in this article will show professional athletes as a whole and not just the highest paid individuals.  They use statistic formulas to group together different types of entertainers to ultimately prove athletes are not over paid compared to other professionals such as actors.  The use of them comparing athletes to other entertainers will provide another point of view.  After all, we have seen how essential entertainment is to this generation.


            As stated earlier, some say professional athletes are overpaid, but in my recent research I have come to other conclusions.  Yes, professional athletes do make a fair amount of money when considered entertainers.  It has been proven that they are paid less than most movie actors but still they are considered to be highly paid for doing something they love. That being said, these athletes need to learn how to manage their money seeing as how not much change will occur to lower such salaries, as seen in recent times.  Professional athletes are notorious for going broke.  They never properly learn how to manage their money or how to live in a realistic world, financial wise.  Just recently, actions have been taken by the NFL (national football league), making it mandatory for players to attend financial game-plan meetings.  This new social movement taking place in the professional athletes world is something I believe that will benefit our economy as a whole.


            In an article written by Tanisha Warner (2012), explanation about how the workshops that the players are taking part in will help them make better investment choices and help them have a successful financial future is discussed.  There is a non-profit Money Management International (MMI) organization, the largest full service credit counseling agency available helping rookies, veterans and retired players to maximize their full financial potential at every stage of their career while keeping these professional from over-spending.  This movement creates positive outcomes through the proper use of smarter investments being made.  These investments boost our communities as well as economy in multiple ways.  If more professional athletes took precautions like these NFL players are starting to do, I believe that the athletes being portrayed as making way too much money will soon change.


            Everyone can and will have their own opinion on what makes a professional and how much athletes should and shouldn't make but research has indicated that these professional athletes carry our economy when given the right tools.  Where would we be if salaries were lowed for such professional individuals? Would we still get the exciting last second touchdown or even get to watch a “superbowl”? Most likely not.






Bhagat, M. (2012, March 21). Do Professional Athletes Get Paid Too Much Money? Retrieved from 


Professional. (n.d.). Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. Retrieved        November 04, 2012, from website:   


Warner, T. (2012, August 21).  NFL players add financial literacy to their game plan. Retrieved from             Change/2012/August/NFL-players-add-financial-literacy-to-their-game-plan.aspx


Zimmer, M., & Zimmer, M. (2001). Athletes as Entertainers : A Comparative Study of                                          Earnings Profiles. Journal of Sport and Social Issues 25: 202.  


Of course athletes are overpaid today, about 20-30 years ago hockey players played because they loved what they did. Now a player won’t play if he does not get a 15million dollar 3 year contract. Football teams pay some players who don’t even play one game in a season! They are paid over 5 million dollars to have the best seat in stadium. If they cut the pay of every athlete in every sport in half, the government can then put that money into society and create jobs and pay people what they deserve. Should a heart surgeon make less than a guy who sits down on the bench and watch football? I believe players are paid way too much, sure they are good at what they do but I’m good at video games where’s my 100million dollar prize?

As you can argue that athletes are overpaid, it is important not only to look at the contribution to society like you did, but the money they generate to teams. Of course, no one deserves millions a year for playing sports. However, team values sharply increased in recent years. That being said, owners who are billionaires do not deserve to make a ton of money on the back of athletes. Athletes are the product on the field generating the revenues, and therefore deserve the money much more than owners who are already filthy rich. Maybe the business of sports in general is overrated rather than only player's salaries.

About the author